Dexter McCluster’s role with the Kansas City Chiefs has been limited by the new coaching staff, headed by Andy Reid, and he doesn’t like it. Stories by several sources close to the Chiefs all reported today that McCluster was taken out of the rotation of returning kickoffs and punts. The continuation of the story has been that the Chiefs are seeking a trade partner for McCluster. There has been no official word out of the Chiefs and the only comment McCluster has given was in a tweet earlier today. “‘Believe none of what you HEAR and only half of what you SEE!’ Too blessed and humble for nonsense! DMc Go Chiefs!”
New general manager John Dorsey showed that he has no problem with trading off players that were drafted by the previous regime of Scott Pioli when he sent former first round pick Jon Baldwin to San Francisco last week. McCluster was taken 36th overall in the 2010 draft and since joining the Chiefs, has had a limited role on both offense and special teams.
McCluster’s rookie year was filled with spotty play on offense but he did shoulder a good part of the return duty load. His best season was 2011, when an injury to Jamaal Charles gave him a bigger role in the offense. That year McCluster carried the ball 114 times and recorded 46 receptions for a total of 844 yards from scrimmage. In 2012 in a poor offensive season, McCluster touched the ball only 64 times on offense and returned only two punts.
Things didn’t improve for McCluster on the depth chart when Dorsey & Reid drafted Knile Davis in April. Davis has become the clear backup to Charles and shown a great talent for returning kicks. In three preseason games, Davis is averaging a whopping 94 yards per kickoff return. Wide receiver Devon Wylie has been handling most of the punt return duties for Kansas City so far this preseason. On offense this preseason, McCluster has two catches for 21 yards and did not play in the Chiefs’ last game due to illness.
Whether McCluster stays in Kansas City is mostly out of his hands. The Chiefs own the rights to his contract and if they hold onto it, he either plays for Kansas City or not at all. If the Chiefs can find a trade partner that is willing to give them what they consider fair market value for McCluster, they may send him packing. The only thing that is for certain at this point is that McCluster is at least publicly maintaining an image of wanting to stay put. But in time, McCluster’s role with the Chiefs may become, “former Chief.”